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Comment: Re:omg, a store will know where I am (Score 1) 43

by Macdude (#48672695) Attached to: How Target's Mobile App Uses Location Tech To Track You

better they track me so they put stuff i buy up front rather than me having to walk through the whole store

I don't think you understand how they think, they'll put the stuff you buy at the back so that you have to walk through the entire store. In their minds the more stuff you walk past, the more likely you are to buy something on a whim. It's why the milk is always at the back of the grocery store.

Comment: Re:UOM conversion help, please (Score 1) 44

by Macdude (#48420779) Attached to: Researchers Discover Ancient Massive Landslide

Anybody know what "39 times the size of Manhattan" is in football fields?

One Manhattan is:
12,292.12 Football Fields
16,344.68 US Football Fields
10,728.82 Canadian Football Fields

So 39 Manhattans are:
479,392.68 Football Fields
637,442.52 US Football Fields
418,423.98 Canadian Football Fields

Comment: "Braking Hard Alert" (Score 2) 261

by Macdude (#47769951) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

How about we just implement a system that when a vehicle brakes hard it also send out a low power directional signal (to the rear) that reads "Hard Braking, #1 vehicle, ".

Then every vehicle that receives it replies with "Hard Braking, #2 vehicle, " and every vehicle that receives it replies with "Hard Braking, #3 vehicle, ", etc. Then at some predetermined cutoff point (number dependant on the vehicle's speed) the vehicles stop propagating the message.

The point of the random number is so that your vehicle can ignore multiple receipts of the same braking event while not identifying the vehicle.

That should cover the vast majority if situations that you want your vehicle to warn you about.

Comment: Re:That's a squirrley definition of free speech. (Score 1) 284

by Macdude (#46942423) Attached to: Russia Quietly Passes Anti-Blogger Law

[Sigh] It is not illegal to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater. What the first amendment doesn't do is protect you from prosecution if your yelling "Fire" causes a panic. So you have the right to yell "Fire", you will just be held accountable if doing so causes a panic.

From Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.'s (unanimous ) opinion, "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic".

Comment: Re:No F#$KING way (Score 1) 567

What are the parameters that define a "good" driver. Going below the speed limit on a highway in the left lane. Being lucky when you don't look right or left making a turn onto a street? Taking way to long to brake?

That's the real question isn't it, how are they going to define a safe driver vs. a risky driver. One way is to collect telemetry from people for a while and then compare the telemetry of the people that have collisions with the people who don't and look for statistically valid differences.

I've been driving for decades, I've put over 300,000 miles under me, but I bet those damn things would label me a bad driver

Any time I hear something like this I'm reminded of the fact that when asked, most people rate themselves as above average drivers. Not to say that you're not a good driver, but your driving ability is anecdotal at best. Why would you think they would label you a bad driver? Note I'd prefer to use the terms safe driver and risky driver.

for I accelerate firmly coming onto a highway, I don't brake forever coming off a highway,

With, I'd imagine, long periods driving at a constant velocity in between, why would you think that makes you a risky driver? That's what you're supposed to do. The risky driver is the guy who accelerates firmly and brakes firmly repeatedly and often in city traffic.

I tend to exceed the posted speed limit by a few miles when in the left lane and certainly when passing

Any rational system wouldn't rate someone as risky for exceeding the speed limit in a calm manner by a small percentage, particularly on a highway.

and i do my best to maintain situational awareness when behind the wheel.

By looking at vehicles' telemetry it would be very easy to identify the people who tailgate (due to their need to constantly adjust their speed), change lanes frequently and abruptly, drive significantly faster than the surrounding traffic, etc. It would also be easy to identify the people who practice good defensive driving techniques.

These devices will do nothing to bring about "safe" driving because that term is still relative to skill, conditions, and environment.

Actually it's got a good chance to reduce collisions. People drive at their own acceptable level of perceived risk. If driving in a risky manner puts them at risk of higher insurance rates they will modify their driving habits.

Flo can take her device and shove it somewhere dark, just not in my car.

That's OK, once these become standard you will always be able to opt out. Of course that means you will be placed in the highest risk category and pay the highest premiums, but at least they won't have a tracker in your car.

My issue with this sort of device isn't that it will be used in determining insurance premiums, my issue is "What else will it be used for?"

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759